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Shares in Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC) advanced almost 8% on Monday after the firm reported record production and sales in the year so far from its Pennsylvania mine, where it has now begun mining a 30ft seam of almost solid high grade anthracite.
This seam will be worked over coming months, providing feedstock to produce clean anthracite products and raw anthracite for sale to other processors, the AIM firm said.
Anthracite is purer and has a higher carbon than other types of coal and attracts premium prices - going for around US$130 a tonne compared to, say, thermal coal, the kind of fuel burned in power stations, at about US$40 a tonne.
It is used in a number of ways, notably in steel making but also other metals production, water purification and in the sugar industry.
The development of the Mammoth seam has given the firm a big boost and provides confidence for the rest of the life of Stockton, which has a life of around a decade.
Atlantic produced 164,328 tons of anthracite in the ten months to end October - 26% more than the same period of 2014 - and representing 99.6% of the total production of 165,052 tons achieved in all of 2014.
Sales of clean anthracite products over the same ten months were 151,384 tons (18.5% more than last year) and run of mine sales were 69,205 tons.
October 2015 was a record month for sales of anthracite products at 24,066 tons, while run-of-mine sales were 2,825 tons.
Steve Best, Atlantic's managing director, was upbeat on the US mine's performance.
"As we still have two months of production and sales left in 2015 we are confident of beating our previous record production and sales by a significant margin," he said.
"It is particularly pleasing to see a record monthly sales figure in October and this, together with our healthy inventory of both clean anthracite product and raw anthracite gives us confidence for Stockton's performance for the remainder of 2015 and the winter season running into 2016.
"Our investigation of old underground mine plans had indicated that that we were approaching areas of thick Mammoth seam which were largely unworked, but as mining is never predictable we could not be certain of this.
"We are, however, now on our second cut of 30 feet thick almost solid Mammoth seam and this gives us a high degree of confidence that this will continue over the rest of the life of Stockton Mine."
Project development director Barney Corrigan explained to Proactive how the Mammoth seam transformed the Stockton operation."We're digging the same amount of rock as we were digging to get a third of the thickness of that mammoth seam and now we're getting 100% more or less of it."
"We are pretty confident now that that runs right through to the end of the mine...," he said, adding the firm saw record sales and production continuing through to 2016.
Atlantic shares added 7.69% to 0.14p on the day.